Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Acherontia atropos
(death's head hawkmoth)



Acherontia atropos (death's head hawkmoth)


  • Last modified
  • 10 December 2020
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Acherontia atropos
  • Preferred Common Name
  • death's head hawkmoth
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Acherontia atropos Linnaeus

Preferred Common Name

  • death's head hawkmoth

Other Scientific Names

  • Acherontia sculda Kirby, 1877
  • Atropos solani Oken, 1815
  • Sphinx atropos Linnaeus

International Common Names

  • English: death's head moth
  • Spanish: aqueronica; cabeza de muerto; calavera; esfinge de la calavera; esfinge de la muerta
  • French: sphinx à tête de mort
  • Russian: Mertvaya Golova

Local Common Names

  • Czechoslovakia (former): Smrtihlav obecny
  • Germany: Totenkopf; Totenkopfschwärmer
  • Hungary: halálfejes lepke
  • Italy: Farfalla testa di morto; Sfinge testa di morto
  • Netherlands: doodshoofdpijlstaart; doodshoofdvlinder; doodskopvlinder
  • Sweden: Dödskalle-Svärmare

EPPO code

  • ACHEAT (Acherontia atropos)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Lepidoptera
  •                         Family: Sphingidae
  •                             Genus: Acherontia
  •                                 Species: Acherontia atropos

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 15 Dec 2020

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Leaves / honeydew or sooty mould

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Amblyjoppa fuscipennis Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Amblyjoppa proteus Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Blepharipa pratensis Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Callajoppa cirrogaster Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Callajoppa exaltatoria Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Compsilura concinnata Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Diphyus palliatorius Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Ichneumon cerinthius Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Lydella stabulans Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Masicera pavoniae Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Masicera sphingivora Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Panzeria rudis Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Sturmia bella Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Thelyconychia solivaga Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Winthemia cruentata Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Winthemia rufiventris Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Zygobothria atropivora Parasite Arthropods|Larvae

Distribution Maps

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